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If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Health Savings Account (HSA) or Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) through your employer, your monthly ActiveHealthyWell (AHW) program fees (not including food) may be covered. Because of the tax advantages of using a health expense account, you can save money and lose weight.
To find out if you qualify for the above deductions follow these steps
- Check your plan to see if weight loss program fees are reimbursable. If so, great! However keep in mind that you must still qualify for this reimbursement, so please move on to Step 2. Not a current Active. Healthy. Well.member? Now is the perfect time to sign up.
- Download the BMI Table. The BMI Table is an indicator of your Body Mass Index. If your BMI is 30 or above, talk with your doctor to see if you have a medical condition that can be improved by losing weight.
- Download the Letter of Medical Necessity and take it to your doctor. If your doctor determines that you have a weight-related medical condition, have him or her fill out and sign the form, then submit it with your program receipt(s) to your insurance provider.
Are AHW program fees reimbursed by my insurance company?
It depends. Some insurance companies may reimburse for weight loss programs. Beginning January 2014, some insurance plans will be required to reimburse for weight loss programs that offer counseling (all Active. Healthy. Well.’s weight-loss programs include weight loss coaching/counseling). Check with your plan administrator for details. Your doctor must first complete and sign the Letter of Medical Necessity. Once completed, submit the letter with your program receipt to your insurance provider following their normal process for reimbursement.
How do I know if my AHW program qualifies for reimbursement under my health insurance plan?
You should check with your plan to see if weight loss counseling, coaching or programs are eligible for reimbursement. If so (or even if it is not clear), ask your doctor to complete the Letter of Medical Necessity. Once completed, submit the letter with your program receipt to your insurance provider following their normal process for reimbursement.
Is the AHW program reimbursed by my Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), or Health Savings Account (HSA)?
Some plans reimburse for weight loss programs. Check your plan and if so (or if it is unclear) ask your doctor to complete the Letter of Medical Necessity. Once completed, submit the letter with your program receipt to your insurance provider following their normal process for reimbursement.
Will AHW staff submit my paperwork for me?
No. AHW will not submit your paperwork and will not know that you have requested reimbursement under any plan unless you choose to share that information.
Tax Benefits & Deductions
In April of 2002, the IRS designated obesity as a disease, and declared that taxpayers could write off (deduct) weight loss expenses, as long as they are for health improvement and medically necessary. Your doctor must recommend weight loss as a way to counteract a medical issue; so for your program fees and expenses to be tax deductible your physician must refer you to a weight-loss program due to a weight-related condition include but not limited to: Obesity; Hypertension; Heart Disease; and High Cholesterol.
Joining a weight loss program simply to improve appearance, general health and sense of well-being without a physician’s recommendation and guidance does not qualify. You can deduct behavioral and nutritional counseling, and fees associated with our weight loss program, in which we give you a diet and fitness plan, menus, and group support.
If going to lose weight, do it for the right reasons – the health benefits, not the tax deduction. Nevertheless, go ahead and get documentation from your doctor. That way, you’ll have it in hand if you’re eligible for a deduction. Remember that even if your weight loss isn’t deductible, you’ll feel better and look better.
Moreover, you can’t deduct your gym membership, home exercise equipment, diet foods, over-the-counter weight loss products, nutritional supplements or vitamins, or services that are already paid for by your insurance when you have a co-pay.
For more information and to see if you are eligible for this tax deduction, speak with your accountant or visit: http://www.irs.gov/publications/p502/ar02.html#en_US_publink1000179034.